*THIS POST WILL CONTAIN MAJOR SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS EPISODE VIII: THE LAST JEDI*
You know those movies that you just can’t stop thinking about? Well, The Last Jedi is one of those for me.
Let me just say this: after The Force Awakens, I’d lost my faith in the Star Wars franchise. I started watching the series when I was six years old (and I’m not sure, at that age, that I watched any of them straight through. They scared me half to death.) I loved Star Wars, and it still holds a special place in my heart.
When I heard about The Force Awakens, I rolled my eyes, wondering why Hollywood still hadn’t (and still hasn’t) realized that too much of a good thing is not a good thing. There were six wonderful movies in the saga already out; did we really need another trilogy? Nonetheless, I did see Episode VII—and I hated it. It felt like a remake of A New Hope, only with new characters and a few differences. And Kylo Ren—honestly, I’d never seen a worse villain in my life. The fact that they had a masked villain remove his mask in the first movie was just stupid to me. And he just didn’t feel like a villain that was, well, completely villainous (of course, now I believe that was by design).
Enter The Last Jedi. I was curious about this movie, because I’d been hearing about the popular ship Reylo (Rey/Kylo Ren), and the idea of a villain actually falling in love (and not in lust, as tends to be the case when such a thing occurs in fiction) was interesting. I was sort of a Reylo shipper for that alone, even though I remembered next to nothing about their characters. I saw TLJ on Saturday, and I haven’t had a movie stay with me like this since the third Pirates of the Caribbean.
To put it simply, I absolutely loved The Last Jedi. Sure, I had some issues, but I honestly think it might be my new favorite movie of the franchise, and that’s saying a lot, because I am very, very partial to Attack of the Clones (Obi-Wan, okay? He’s reason enough).
I loved TLJ for the characters, specifically Kylo Ren, who I prefer to call Ben. Character is the most important thing to me in fiction, whether I’m reading a book or watching a movie. Plot is interesting, plot is important, but I’m willing to deal with an awful plot if the characters are well-developed. And I did like the plot of TLJ; I liked it a lot, but if it hadn’t been for the character development I wouldn’t have liked it half as much.
As you can see, though, my opinions of Kylo Ren were substantially changed by this movie. Of course, you could probably blame part of it on the possibility of Reylo (and I’ll speak more on that ship later), but I was completely blown away by the way Kylo Ren was in this movie. The early removal of his mask in TFA makes sense now—having him destroy the mask in the beginning of TLJ was a crucial part of his character, and having him remove it for Rey in TFA was a way of setting up their relationship. Episode VIII made Kylo Ren human. It gave him a past, a personality, making him someone I don’t exactly like, but love nonetheless. It’s like my relationship with everyone in The Great Gatsby: I don’t like any of the characters, but I love them anyway.
I loved the Force-Skype thing between Ben and Rey. It was honestly amazing. It forced these two sworn enemies to sit down and talk—and because of that, I do believe that Kylo Ren will go back to being Ben Solo by the end of Episode IX.
Also, that seen in the hut, when they touch hands…there is so much emotion in that scene and it is beautiful.
On that note, I would like to say a thing or two about Reylo.
I know there are some people who absolutely hate it, people who absolutely love it, and others who are rather indifferent. I happen to absolutely love it. As a matter of fact, it’s probably my favorite ship since Wolflet (and anyone who’s read my blog long knows that I am fiercely devoted to all of the Lunar Chronicles ships).
What I love is the way they’re both conflicted, lost, broken souls trying to find their place in the world. They both have the fight between light and dark raging inside them, and I think that’s what makes them so compatible. Both of them never had supportive adult figures in their lives, neither of them really know how to express their emotions. Personally, I think Kylo Ren is so extreme—extremely angry, extremely compassionate (excuse me, before you argue that, but he literally killed Snoke instead of killing Rey. He has so much compassion for her)—because of his never having had someone to show him how to properly express his feelings. Rey’s never had that, either, and she can be pretty extreme, too. But at the same time, they balance each other out. He brings out the dark in her (but not exactly in a bad way, if that makes any sense at all), and she brings out the light in him.
And can I just mention that scene where they fight the Praetorian guards? It was just amazing, the way they worked together.
So yeah, I do really hope Reylo ends up officially canon (however, there are plenty of things in TLJ that make it seem pretty official already).
Also, I don’t think Rey’s going to be the one to change Ben—I honestly believe that’s going to be his decision in the end, and I think Rey realized that in TLJ.
On to the things I didn’t like, which is far less than what I did.
Finn and Rose. Not the idea of them as a couple—I just plain don’t like either of them. Something’s off about Finn; I have no clue why, but I just really don’t like him. And Rose annoys me. That stunt she pulled at the end, when she stopped Finn from sacrificing himself? That made me so angry. Not because I wanted Finn to die (I don’t dislike him that much), but because that was seriously such a heroic thing he was about to do and she completely ruined it. Ugh.
But anyway, as a whole, I loved The Last Jedi. A lot. I was pleasantly surprised, and I’m pretty sure if I were to go back and watch The Force Awakens, I’d find it to be a decent movie.
What did you think of The Last Jedi? Do you ship Reylo? Let me know in the comments!